20 wasn’t so long ago, and it was also a lifetime ago.
Many days in my early 20’s were marked with independence and freedom. My mid 20’s with uncertainty, exploration and career growth. And my late 20’s were filled with unconditional love, I do’s and a baby. I graduated college at 21, lived in Australia at 23, ran a marathon at 26 and had a baby at 29.
While sometimes I look back in disbelief and think “Who was that girl?!”, I know my core being is threaded through each of those years.
Turning 30 isn’t so scary. Maybe it’s because I watched so much Friends in my 20’s that being 30 seems pretty cool. Or maybe it’s because overall, I’m happy with how I lived in my 20’s.
My only complaint is how quickly the years whisked away. And I don’t think time is stopping for a coffee break anytime soon.
When our daughter Maisley was first born, she had three veins on her left hand that were darker than the rest, crossing in almost a tic-tac-toe fashion. As she enters four months of life, the once prominent markings are starting to fade.
Sometimes I feel overwhelming sad knowing these moments and years are fleeting, and that I can’t grasp them anymore than I am. Her giggle and the way she looks and feels right now, right in this moment, won’t happen ever again.
Sometimes I wish a day away because life is hard. But I won’t do that anymore. Not in my 30’s.
Ryan surprised me and planned a trip to Lake Arrowhead for my birthday. We got stuck in the snow and for a brief second my fatalistic mind thought, “This is it. This is how it ends”. But alas, we made it to the cabin. At dinner, everyone went around the room and said their favorite thing about me. I was embarrassed, but also proud.
Ryan told me that I’m the bravest person he knows. He remembers me walking with my pillow clutched to my chest through security at LAX airport when I moved to Australia. It’s the nicest thing he could say about me.
Sometimes I don’t feel brave. Sometimes I feel afraid. Afraid of success, afraid of failure, afraid that I’m not the mom I want to be, afraid that I’m losing direction in my career. Knowing that he believes in me and that my family believes in me, gives me the confidence to keep pushing and keep trying.
While time will do as she pleases, fast and slow, slow and fast, I will live boldly in this next decade. Unapologetic. I will live not for pleasing, but for growth, for my family, my faith and for my greater purpose. I will live with love and keep trying to be better at the little things and the big things.
I’ve got nothin’ but love and gratitude for you 20’s, but I’m ready for the next adventure.